FAB blog post for a-n and FAB Blog

Lost Library?

Statistics of library use around the UK were going to be the material for this performance, yet after sounding out possibilities for this performance and visualizing, it turned out to be not such a compelling idea for a performance.  The participants own movement becoming more vital to the whole thing than the movement of numbers.  The ideas around my practice are leaning towards a physical response to the surface on the land and of text.  You could describe it as the texture of the land.

Viv Barraclough, (who has responded to the Fringe Arts Bath Lost Library call out) and I had a long conversation over the course of a day together recently and worked our way through several scenarios.  Including one involving a giant abacus!

The most compelling idea yet involves a group of participants starting and finishing at the library, with visits into the library throughout the performance day.   A transparent bag on their back to contain an (unpopular) book loaned from the library, to explore Bath responding through movement to the textures and people encountered.  My aim is for it the piece to be responsive to the environment and people around.

This piece moves on from the Eisteddfod performance – then I had lots of different things going on at once which dampens the effect of any one of them.  I’m taking on elements of my Lost Library performance at the Eisteddfod and the giving away seedlings is continuing, as a standalone engaged piece on exchange.

I found that after the Eisteddfod festival I had a surplus of seedlings and gave them away in my area.  I met people who lived only a stone’s throw from me who I’d otherwise not speak to.  I found that this ‘cold-calling’ to do give something rather than canvas for support, religion or business was rather interesting.  Some people wanted to donate to the project (I didn’t ask, they were curious), others offered me something they’d made in return.  And I only called on about a dozen houses.  Would be very interesting to extend this.  reenfingers gardening group are growing tomato, little gem and zinnia seedlings in the next few weeks.

Artists I’m looking at:  Mark Storor is a dance event producer currently working on a street performance in Ryhl, north Wales, involving many performers in the street. The work is currently in rehearsal stage ‘Lifted By Beauty: Adventures In Dreaming’ http://www.broadwayworld.com/westend/article/Rehearsals-Underway-for-Mark-Storor-and-National-Theatre-Wales-Rhyl-Walking-Production-LIFTED-BY-BEAUTY-20170227

Mark Storor and National Theatre Wales are getting to know Rhyl and some of its residents over a few months and gathering stories from those who know the town best.


Marina Abromavich’s way of talking of connecting with places and spaces and ways of being as well as approaches to mindfulness have something to do with what I’m trying to do here with my performance.

Kate Daudy sang at regular times during her YSP residency, she uses text, positivity and is particularly socially engaged in a way I relate to.

I recently went to Oriel Davies in Newtown, Powys for a conference on Dancing in the gallery which I dropped everything to go and see.  My thinking around movement and response to the direct environment (as well as text, but texture is part of it) is something that keeps coming up.
I have a challenge with the Fringe Arts Bath piece in that I can’t visit until at the earliest the end of April, so I need to work with this in engaging with people in and around Bath and with the library.  With Bath Central Library being re-located I’m interested to gather peoples stories about the library, their personal stories relating to what they get from being in the library and their use of library material on loan.  I could talk to people (and record the conversations when agreed) about their experiences in and of the central library and then pick phrases from each to work with.

I see there are two distinct parts of what I’m attempting here again, it doesn’t take much for what I think is a simple idea to get messy.

either respond through movement to the people and place OR gathering stories and laying that text down

Where’s that coin. I need to flip it!

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